True Crime On This Day February 3rd

Last Updated on September 20, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day February 3rd

February 3rd

On February 3rd in true crime, serial killer double murder, Velma Barfield, The I-5 Killer, murder in Alabama, and abduction.


Velma Barfield, an American female serial killer took the lives of six people. She was only convicted for the murder of Rowland Stuart Taylor who was rushed to hospital on February 3rd and died the next day.

Barfield had mixed arsenic-based rat poison into his beer and tea. After her arrest in May 1978, Taylor’s body was exhumed as evidence of her crimes.


In Fresno, California, eight-year-old Victoria DeSantiago and her three-year-old sister Eva were abducted as they made their way home from a store.

Eva was found a few hours later in a confused state but her sister had vanished. Three days later, the body of Victoria was discovered at an irrigation canal, she had been brutally raped and murdered.

The case remained unsolved for 30 years until 2009. Cold case investigators matched DNA to child killer Fernando Caro, who had been living in Fresno at the time.

The link to Caro was discovered while he was already serving two life sentences for the murder of two children in 1980. It is believed he had killed at least five children.


In West Hollywood, 15-year-old Charles Miranda was picked up by serial killer William George Bonin and accomplice Gregory Matthew Miley.

Charles was raped, beaten, and strangled to death with his own shirt because Miley was not able to get sexually aroused. His restrained and nude body was discovered the next morning beside an alley in Malibu.

On the same evening, after dumping Charles’s body, the pair of murderers sought another victim. They picked up 12-year-old James McCabe who was on his way to Disneyland with family.

Bonin raped McCabe in the back of the van and they both later beat and strangled him to death. McCabe’s body was found in a dumpster three days later.

William Bonin became known as The Freeway Killer. He was known to dump his victim’s bodies on the side of freeways.

Bonin killed at least 21 people from 1979 to 1980 and was sentenced to death. He was executed in February 1996. Miley, who helped Bonin kill some of his victims, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.


In Mountain Gate, California, the bodies of 37-year-old Donna Eckard and her 14-year-old daughter were found together in a bed. Both victims had been raped and shot in the head.

They had been murdered by serial killer Randall Woodfield, AKA: The I-5 Killer. Between 1979 and 1981, Woodfield killed at least 12 people. He was initially convicted of two murders and sentenced to 165 years in prison.

As DNA technology evolved, so did the number of crimes that were linked to him. In 2005, investigators linked Woodfield to at least 44 murders and is seen by some as one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.


In Calhoun County, Alabama, 26-year-old Jacksonville State University student, Becky Howell, was raped and strangled to death.

She had been killed by James Harvey Callahan who followed her after she left a club where her boyfriend was performing in a band. She was reported missing by her boyfriend in the early hours of the morning.

Two weeks later, her decomposing body was found in a local creek. Callahan was arrested on February 22nd after a witness statement placed him near the club on the night of Howell’s disappearance.

He was later found guilty of her murder and sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in Alabama on January 15th 2009.


In Menlo Park, California, four-year-old Mitchell Deon Owens vanished under suspicious circumstances. In the late evening, an unidentified assailant broke into the Owens residence and attacked Mitchell’s mother, Ora Owens.

Ora had three sons, two of whom slept through the night, but Mitchell had awoken and walked in on the attack. It was the last time she saw her son before she passed out.

She was rushed to hospital the next day when neighbours found her in a pool of blood, she would later go on to make a recovery but was unable to identify her attacker. It was suspected that her attacker abducted Mitchell but no trace of him has ever been found.

An initial investigation went cold quickly and minimal DNA evidence collected at the scene has led nowhere. Mitchell’s disappearance has never been solved.

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